At Auto Shanghai 2023, Lexus celebrated the world premiere of the all-new Lexus LM. Beginning with the key luxury MPV market of China, the second-generation LM will be launched in over 60 countries worldwide, including for the first time in Europe and Lexus’s home market of Japan.
Lexus has treasured a spirit of innovation since the marque’s establishment in 1989, seeking to provide new value propositions to customers through progressive design and technology. With the desire to enrich customer lifestyles in and around the car, the brand offers a wide variety of products to meet the needs of customers around the world.
The first-generation Lexus LM was launched in 2020 as a response to customer aspirations for chauffeur-driven MPV’s in China and other parts of Asia. Offering both 4-seat and 7-seat configurations, the vehicle was well received by a wide range of customers. In the intervening years, the needs and desires of the global luxury market have further intensified and diversified. In response, the new LM has been completely redesigned, reevaluating its value and raison d’être as a “Luxury Mover,” from where the model’s name is derived.
The core objective of the engineering and design team was to create a vehicle that provided an interior space and dynamic experience where all passengers could naturally feel at ease. This begins with core ride comfort and functionality. The driver enjoys effortless engagement through direct and precise maneuverability, attributes that benefit the rear-seat passengers, who also enjoy a lack of distraction from unwanted noise and vibrations, allowing them to feel productive and refreshed.
The exterior design projects an elegant presence and aerodynamic form in keeping with the Lexus design language, the vehicle’s lines reflecting function and dynamic performance. In the interior, the front cabin design combines practicality with refinement to allow drivers to focus, while the spacious rear suite offers meticulously crafted seats and trim alongside a variety of features and technology to make the most of passengers’ precious travel time.
LEXUS INTERNATIONAL NEW LM CHIEF ENGINEER TAKAMI YOKOO
“The inspiration for the development of the new Lexus LM was the increasingly diverse lifestyles of customers in the luxury segment. This is where the development concept was born: creating a mobile space where customers can be their true selves. Our goal was to provide an environment that would allow busy individuals to relax in mind and body, free from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives-a space to inspire positive thought and action.
No matter how luxurious the interior design and features of a car are, passengers cannot truly spend their time in comfort without sophisticated underlying driving dynamics. The challenge we faced as a development team was how to translate the Lexus Driving Signature to the LM, a vehicle many customers will enjoy from the rear seat with a chauffeur at the wheel. Together with Lexus Takumi experts, we realized that the answer lay within the natural dialogue between driver and car-the very aspect that forms the core promise of contemporary Lexus vehicles. That is, by providing driving dynamics faithful to the driver’s intentions, we could create a feeling of security and refinement that is transmitted to rear seat passengers.
The development team’s passion and care went into every detail of the vehicle, from the thoroughly honed chassis and body, supple suspension and aerodynamic design, to the seats that suppress body sway, the high-quality tailored interior and the numerous comfort features. We hope that our discerning customers will experience this ‘Luxury Mover’ that Lexus has lovingly created.”
To ensure a comfortable ride for all passengers, development focused on ride quality worthy of a flagship MPV. By design, an MPV has large aperture sliding doors, and securing body rigidity within this framework was paramount. Following the approach taken with all new generations of Lexus vehicles, work began with improving core strength. Overall, torsional rigidity is 50% higher than that of the current model, an achievement made through elements such as braces on the radiator support and rear underfloor, a straight rocker structure, and quarter pillar reinforcement. Structural adhesive used for the upper body and floor also helps to reduce vibration.
For seat development, passenger body movements were thoroughly analyzed to ensure a naturally relaxed state for both body and mind no matter where you are sitting. Special attention was also paid to reducing head movement and stabilizing the line of sight. The front seats optimize surface pressure distribution on the seat cushion to hold the body, regardless of the amount of G-force during turning. The goal is to achieve seating comfort that reduces fatigue and an environment that allows the driver to have dialogue with the car. For the second-row seats, two types of shock-absorbing materials with different characteristics were used to gently envelop and support the passengers, from vehicle standstill to when the vehicle is in motion. In models with third-row seats, thick seat backs and cushions allow adults to sit comfortably.
For the first time, Lexus features “AVS Suspension with Frequency-Sensitive Piston Valve”, which combines an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) actuator and a frequency-sensitive piston valve in the shock absorber. The system provides excellent ride quality regardless of speed, by meticulously dampening and reducing vibration over a wide range of frequencies.
For the first time in a Lexus vehicle, a “Rear Comfort” drive mode enables an emphasis on rear-seat comfort. The dampening force characteristics of the AVS are set to prioritize rear-seat comfort, while integrated control of the gas pedal and brake reduces posture changes during acceleration and deceleration.
For the new LM, special attention was paid to creating a natural and comfortable sense of quietness. Noise frequency bandwidths and noise sources were analyzed, resulting in a 3-step approach to noise reduction: reducing generated noise (source noise), preventing noise from entering the vehicle (sound insulation), and reducing noise inside the vehicle (sound absorption). Source noise reduction focused mainly on road noise and wind noise. In addition to the specific countermeasures for road noise around the tires and for wind noise around the hood and pillars, acoustic glass was used to help reduce high-frequency wind noise. The engine, one of the primary sources of noise and vibration, and the related mounts, which amplify the vibration, received thorough tuning. Also, cabin noise was greatly reduced by placing carefully calculated amounts and thicknesses of sound-absorbing, sound-insulating, and vibration-damping materials in appropriate places throughout the vehicle.
A UNIQUE IDENTITY, WITH PROPORTIONS BORN FROM FUNCTIONAL PURITY AND DYNAMIC ELEGANCE
The new LM was designed with the key concept of “Dignified Elegance”, to stand apart as a flagship Lexus MPV by combining a unique and elegant curbside presence with a spacious and comfortable interior.
Exterior design rooted in function
The key for the exterior design was to bring to the MPV segment the goal of next-generation Lexus design – to create unique identity through proportions that reflect functional purity and dynamic performance. The Lexus LM’s unique form is dynamic, elegant, and graceful.
The spacious cabin offers maximum passenger space by providing minimal interruptions in the longitudinal form, while the emphasize on the front and rear wheels evokes excellent driving performance and ride comfort.
The front design further evolves the Spindle Body, the identity of Lexus. By applying the exterior color to the grille, the strong extruded spindle shape is expressed as a seamless integral part of the body. By minimizing the gap between the surrounding parts and body, the new design is more integrated, thereby contributing to aerodynamic performance, cooling performance, and maneuverability.
A spacious interior combining comfort and convenience
To allow passengers to return to being their true selves, the interior incorporates exquisite craftsmanship based on a human-centered approach. The aim was to create a relaxing, lounge-like environment by taking advantage of the generous interior height of the vehicle and offer an airy, comfortable space with a seamless design characterized by clean horizontal and vertical lines.
In the front seats, a modern and spacious interior incorporates the Lexus Tazuna Cockpit concept, complemented by the simple instrument panel and console that create an environment where the driver can concentrate on driving.
The 6- and 7-seat versions focus on a spacious feel and excellent visibility, with expansive trim and overhead consoles throughout the cabin to create a personal feel for all passengers.
The 4-seat model raises the level of personalization and privacy, featuring a partition equipped with a striking 48-inch wide-screen display in front of the rear seats. A retractable glass partition above the display separates the front and rear compartments while offering a clear forward view, and assist grips provide easy entry and exit. The speakers, refrigerator, storage compartments, and other functions are integrated into the design elements, while great care has been taken to minimize the panel gaps between components. The side window graphics are also simple rectangles, and every component of the interior has been designed to reduce visual noise, resulting in a relaxing environment for all passengers. Additionally, large independent seats comfortably envelope the body, with the aim of providing a sense of comfort that frees the body and mind the moment the person sits down.
The interior colors conjure up a sophisticated contemporary feel in line with this new expression of luxury. Solis White features copper accents on the surroundings, while Black features gray tone gradations throughout. The clean-cut rectangular door trim is also finished with a subtle pattern.
MIND AND BODY IN EQUILIBRIUM THROUGH EFFORTLESS OMOTENASHI AND FEATURES WITH A WEALTH OF DETAIL
With the many ways to spend time in a car, vehicle use has become ever more diversified in recent years. The new LM has been developed with an emphasis on creating a naturally relaxing indoor environment that meets the diverse needs of customers, should they wish to relax as if in a hotel suite, or use their time for business purposes as if in a mobile private study.
For example, indirect lighting not only accentuates the beauty of the interior shapes and materials, but also creates a relaxing atmosphere. A total of 64 illumination colors are available, including 14 themed colors and 50 custom colors that can be selected according to preference. Each color scheme has its own theme, such as “soothing” or “relaxing” and passengers can choose the color scheme that suites their mood or objective.
The “Rear Climate Concierge,” a Lexus first that provides integrated control of elements such as air-conditioning, seat position, sunshades, and lighting, helps create an optimal cabin environment for passengers. In addition to four preset modes, customizable modes are available to suit the individual preferences of the passengers.
The rear multi-operation panel is a detachable touch-screen controller that can be used to control a variety of rear-seat functions including “Rear Climate Concierge”, but also the seats, audio, and lighting independently. Two controllers are located on the console armrests of the second-row seats to allow left and right passengers to set their own individual preferences.
4-SEAT MODEL ESPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR CHAUFFEUR-DRIVEN USE
In addition to the three-row 6- and 7-seat configurations, the new Lexus LM is available as a 4-seat model designed for dedicated use as a chauffeur-driven MPV.
A partition separates the front and rear seats. The upper portion houses a retractable glass window with dimming function, offering two levels of privacy without sacrificing a feeling of airiness. Below is a large 48-inch widescreen display that can be used for a variety of purposes including online meetings and entertainment. A refrigerator and storage spaces are located under the display.
The rear seats feature independent seats exclusive to the 4-seater model. The extension and retraction range of the ottoman has been increased compared to the previous model, while still maintaining ample distance between the ottoman and the partition. Heated armrests and ottomans are another first for Lexus. Taking this further, a dedicated rear seat Warmth-Sensing IR (Infrared) Matrix Sensor located on the upper center portion of the partition detects the temperature of occupants and the parts of the vehicle that affect ambient temperature such as the windows, trim and ceiling. The system then estimates the level of warmth or coldness the occupant is feeling in four specific areas-face, chest, thighs, and lower legs-and controls the air-conditioning and seat heaters in tandem to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the vehicle at all times. The retractable table, which fits inside the armrest, is large enough to rest a tablet device or notebook PC. It has a leather-wrapped surface with improved texture and a non-slip, non-scratch finish.
The LM, with its focus on quietness, conversely does not completely shut out sound from the outside, but rather creates a sense of spaciousness through moderate reflections of sound. Specifically, the layered structure of the roof headlining has been reexamined and intentionally made non-sound-absorbent to create an environment with a pleasant, natural level of quietness.
Advanced preventive safety technology Lexus Safety System +
Lexus continues to develop safety technologies in line with the ultimate goal of a mobility society: “Zero fatalities and injuries from traffic accidents.” Based on the belief of the importance of speedily developing the most advanced safety technologies and promoting their use in as many vehicles as possible, Lexus Safety System + is now available in the new LM. The system further contributes to safe and confident driving for customers by offering Proactive Driving Assist, which provides appropriate driving support according to driving conditions, and optimal vehicle control by integrating with the driver monitor, in accordance with the driver’s operating conditions.
Main performance enhancements:
- Pre-crash safety (PCS): Uses a sensor that combines millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera to ensure precise recognition and reliability, thereby expanding the scope of activation of the Pre-Collision Warning, Pre-Collision Brake Assist, and Pre-Collision Braking.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (with all-speed follow function): When the alert function of the driver monitor is enabled, the system alerts the driver and provides supportive control that helps ensure a sufficient safety margin during normal driving, so that the driver can safely resume driving once they return to a normal state.
- Lane Departure Alert (LDA): If the system detects a driver looking aside while driving, the system will activate an alert or activate lane departure control at an earlier timing than usual.
- Abnormal Driver Response System: If the driver’s posture becomes significantly impaired during lane tracing assist (LTA) control, the system judges that it is difficult for the driver to continue driving and warns others by flashing hazard lamps, etc., while the vehicle gradually decelerates. In addition, doors are unlocked after the vehicle is stopped and a life-saving request is made through an automatic Help Net connection, contributing to early driver rescue and first aid.
- Proactive Driving Assist (PDA): PDA supports steering and braking operations to avoid getting too close to pedestrians, bicycles, and parked vehicles by anticipating risks according to the driving situation, such as pedestrians crossing the road or situations where objects may suddenly appear. When the distance between the car in front is too close, or when the speed of the car is too fast for the curve ahead, the system will gently assist in decelerating the car. Furthermore, when the system detects an approaching signal intersection, it provides advanced deceleration support in conjunction with blinker operation, thereby helping to ensure a margin of maneuverability when turning right or left. It provides constant steering assist to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane. The system supports safe and confident driving by providing appropriate support for a wide range of driving situations.
Lexus Teammate supports comfortable mobility
“Advanced Drive (traffic jam support)” and “Advanced Park (with remote function)”, functions of the advanced driving support technology “Lexus Teammate”, have been adopted.
New (experiential) value through advanced technology
An e-Latch system that incorporated an “easy closer” on the front doors is another Lexus first. Quiet and smooth operation with enhanced usability supports door closing from a partially-open state. Both the front and sliding doors are equipped with Safe Exit Assist (with Door Open Control) (SEA), which detects vehicles and bicycles approaching from behind, providing a warning notification and preventing the doors from opening.